The Retro Freak: It’s Freakin Awesome

retrofreak_titleWhen we received the Retro Freak console from Play-Asia, we put our thinking cap on to try and find a way to review the unit objectively. Our thinking cap must’ve worked, as we came up with an ingenious idea – take the Retro Freak to the biggest gaming expo in the southern hemisphere, PAX Aus 2016!

By having the Retro Freak available to play at PAX Aus, it gave us the opportunity to observe attendees playing on the console and gauge their unfiltered and objective feedback. With thousands in attendance, we weren’t short of people having a go. There were youngsters and older players, families and couples all having a go. The overwhelming responses from players was, “What is this console?”, “Where can I get one?” and “How much is it?”.

Play your old school carts on the Retro Freak!
retrofreak_top_carts

For those that are not aware, this awesome console from Cyber Gadget allows you to play your original game cartridges/cards from your Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16, SuperGrafx, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. By supporting these legacy systems, the Retro Freak ensures that you only need the one console setup in your games room to play all of your favourite classic titles! Hooray, you can finally declutter!

Let’s put on scanlines!
retrofreak_avsettings

We love the clean and easy-to-use interface
retrofreak_screen

The Retro Freak pumps out its audio visuals via HDMI, supporting 720p upscaling, which makes your old school games look great on newer TVs – so no more needing that 20 year old CRT TV! Well, we would suggest that you still hold onto your CRT TV *winks*. The other cool features that will freak you out (in a good way) include; filters, backing up of games from cartridge onto the console (on MicroSD card), instant save states and cheat codes (for certain games).

For control, there is the pack-in SNES-style controller, which does the job well, or if you prefer, modern gamepads such as the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 can also be used (via USB). The Retro Freak Premium pack ships with a controller adaptor that supports Famicom/NES, Super Famicom/SNES, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, and PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16 controllers. If you prefer bluetooth control (perhaps you dislike wires!), you can procure the 8bitdo Retro Receiver, plug it into the controller adaptor and use any one of your PS3, PS4, WiiMote or Wii U controllers you may have lying around. Oh yeah, you can re-map controller buttons to suit your style! We love the flexibility that the Freak provides!

The pack-in controller does the job! At least the USB cable is 1.8M!
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One side of the Controller Adaptor – connect your fave gamepads!
retrofreak_controlleradapter

Other side of the Controller Adaptor reveals more classic controller ports!
retrofreak_controlleradapter2

So how does it compare to playing on the real hardware? We threw all kinds of games at the Freak, and it ran them without a hitch. We didn’t encounter any incompatibility issues, which ensured we didn’t rage quit and turn off the console. The transferring of original game cartridge data to MicroSD is as easy as breathing, thanks to the user friendly interface. One niggle we did have was with Cyber Gadget’s support page being in Japanese – it made it difficult to ascertain the firmware and application updates required to ensure the Retro Freak was up to date. Google did came to the rescue here by pointing us to a forum that had the instructions in English on how to upgrade the firmware.

The elephant in the room is the obvious comparison to the RetroN5. With quality issues hampering the RetroN5, we know which system we would prefer to use – if only the Retro Freak was as good looking as the RetroN5! If you want to be able to archive your original game carts and declutter by only having one console to play your classic games on, then you can’t go wrong with the Retro Freak!

If you are keen to check out the Retro Freak console, then head to Play-Asia now.

Play Operation Wolf straight from the PC-Engine HuCard, OR…
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Backup the Operation Wolf HuCard to microSD! It’s the best of both worlds!
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The Retro Freak makes it to PAX Aus!
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Family gaming together!
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The Retro Freak was a hit at PAX Aus 2016! The Sega Mega Drive version of Aladdin was quite popular.
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Super Famicom F-Zero action aplenty!
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Time to SUPER SMASH (some) TV!
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Thanks to Play-Asia.com for supplying the Retro Freak used in this review.

 

Splatterhouse: The Complete History

splatterhouse_hdrHalloween may be over for another year, but that didn’t stop Daniel Ibbertson (Slopes Games Room) grabbing the Terror Mask and entering the West Mansion for a look at the complete history of everyone’s favourite slash’em up, Splatterhouse.

Daniel’s video looks at every single game in the franchise, Namco’s struggle against Nintendo and every movie reference found in the series so far. Go and grab some popcorn, leave the light on, and press play now!


source: Slopes Games Room

 

Retro Gaming Calendars for 2015

RetroCalendars_TitleHave you got a calendar for next year? Even if you do, I guarantee you will like these retro gaming inspired calendars even better!

The Sunteam (the team behind the PC Engine Software Bible) have put together seven classic gaming calendars to cater for all retro gamers – from the Spectrum and PC-Engine lovers, to the Sega and Commodore fans, no one will feel left out (Ed: unless you are a one-eyed Nintendo fan!). You can finally put your old CD cases to good use!

Get on over to the Sunteam site to download your favourite retro gaming calendar!

 

 

Top 5 Games Charts: July 1991

top5gamescharts_titleAh, 1991 – what a year! I was half way through finishing high school and was knee deep in mid-year examinations. In the midst of the educational pressure (and hanging out with mates at the local arcade), I did find time to play video games. Speaking of which, these were the chart toppers for the month of July 1991. I am still shocked that there were no Konami games in the top 5 for the NES!

Do you have any fond memories of these titles?

 

  1) Golden Axe (Sega)
2) Ninja (Sega)
3) Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (US Gold)
4) Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap (Sega)
5) World Soccer (Sega)

 

  1) Gremlins 2 (Sunsoft)
2) Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo)
3) Mega Man 2 (Nintendo / Capcom)
4) Wrath of the Black Manta (Taito)
5) World Wrestling (Tecmo)

 

1) Midnight Resistance (Data East)
2) PGA Tour Golf (Electronic Arts)
3) Gynough (Sega / Masaya)
4) Lakers vs Celtics (Electronic Arts)
5) Verytex (Sega / OperaHouse)

 

1) Parasol Stars (Taito)
2) Legend of Hero Tonma (Irem)
3) Jackie Chan (Hudson)
4) Dead Moon (NEC / T.S.S.)
5) Final Match Tennis (Human)

 

The 72-bit Powerhouse

JagCore Engine

On our social media network we asked the following question: “what two classic consoles would you merge to form one classic (hybrid) system?”. The responses were many and varied – from the predictable marriage of the SNES and Mega Drive, to the totally radical sounding Dreamstar 64 (Dreamcast plus the C64).

My entry into this hybrid merge of two classic consoles would be the 72-bit JagCore Engine – Forged by the gaming gods in a super nova billions of light years away. More BITS equals more fun! Do the New Math! That would be the advertising pitch if the SNK marketing folks were involved in selling the union between these vintage systems.

Some of the highlights of the JagCore Engine would include the sliding feature: sliding the CoreGrafx component on top of the Jaguar reveals the cartridge slot to play classic games like Tempest 2000 and AVP. Once you are tired of the Jaguar titles, you just plug in a HuCard and blast away aliens in one of the many awesomely cool shoot’em ups from the PC-Engine library.
Well, you can keep on dreaming.

What two classic consoles would you merge to make your perfect gaming system?

 

Ten Of The Best Games: PC-Engine

PC-Engine

I am often asked to list my favourite games for different systems. Such queries have led to the creation of my  “Ten Of The Best Games” series. The first cab off the rank is NEC’s PC-Engine. I am sure there will be an uproar about certain games being left off the list, but hey, that is the beauty of gaming, we all have our own tastes.

Here are the ten best games to play on the PC-Engine (TurboGrafx-16):

PCE_Bomber_Man_93 Title: Bomberman’93
AKA: –
Genre: Action
Rating: 91%
PCE_PC_Kid Title: PC Genjin
AKA: PC Kid / Bonk’s Adventure
Genre: Platform
Rating: 90%
PCE_RType1 Title: R-Type
AKA: –
Genre: Shoot’em up
Rating: 93%
PCE_NewAdventureIsland_Takahashi_Meijin Title: New Adventure Island
AKA:
Genre: Platform
Rating: 93%
PCE_Battle_Lode_Runner Title: Battle Lode Runner
AKA: –
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: 89%
PCE_Devil_Crash Title: Devil Crash
AKA: Devil’s Crush
Genre: Pinball
Rating: 93%
PCE_Galaga_88 Title: Galaga ’88
AKA: Galaga ’90
Genre: Shoot’em up
Rating: 90%
PCE_Ultimate_Tiger Title: Kyukyoku Tiger
AKA: Ultimate Tiger/Twin Cobra/Tiger Heli
Genre: Shoot’em up
Rating: 91%
PCE_Super_Star_Soldier Title: Super Star Soldier
AKA: –
Genre: Shoot’em up
Rating: 90%
PCE_Don_Doko_Don Title: Don Doko Don
AKA: –
Genre: Platform
Rating: 90%

Notable mentions that would make any top PC-Engine games list:

° Gomola Speed ° Street Fighter II: Champion Edition
° Splatterhouse ° Bloody Wolf
° Dungeon Explorer ° KLAX
° The Legend of Hero Tonma ° Legend Of Valkyrie
° Lode Runner ° Momotaro Katsugeki (aka: Peachboy)
° Out Run ° Parasol Stars
° Parodius ° 1943 KAI
° Raiden ° Shinobi
° Soldier Blade ° Space Harrier
° Ninja Spirit ° Ys Book I & II [CD]
° Dracula-X: Rondo Of Blood [CD] ° Seirei Senshi Sprigan [CD]

 

TurboGrafx-16: What is in a name

Right from the outset, NEC faced an uphill battle in launching their console in the US market. Not only didn’t they know their market, they also faced the impending release of the 16-bit Sega Genesis. [Read more…]